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F1 rules: Elimination qualifying confirmed for Australia - 2017 cars "5 secs faster"

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F1 rules: Elimination qualifying confirmed for Australia - 2017 cars "5 secs faster"
Mar 4, 2016, 7:34 PM

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has voted through the new 'elimination' style qualifying system and has also agreed the first stage of technical ...

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has voted through the new 'elimination' style qualifying system and has also agreed the first stage of technical changes to the cars for 2017, which it estimates will increase speeds by up to 5 seconds per lap.

There has been quite a bit of controversy and uncertainty over the new qualifying format, which will be in force from the first round in Melbourne in two weeks. It leaves little time for the new sporting regulations to be written around it, covering what happens in each eventuality, in the case of red and yellow flags and so on.

Kimi Raikkonen

This puts intense pressure on Charlie Whiting of the FIA and also the teams' sporting directors, to perfect the mechanisms and processes to ensure that the first session on March 19 goes smoothly.

There have been a number of meetings already of sporting directors in the paddock at the Barcelona test and Whiting was there until Wednesday evening of this week hearing their views. The drivers have expressed some concern about the late decision to change something so fundamentally.

It will lead to more arguments between drivers as they will inevitably get in each others' way as they look for a gap on the circuit and that could lead to eliminations.

The new elimination-style format:

- Q1

16 minutes duration

After 7 minutes, slowest driver eliminated

Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag

7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2

- Q2

15 minutes duration

After 6 minutes, slowest driver eliminated

Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag

7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3

- Q3

14 minutes duration

After 5 minutes, slowest driver eliminated

Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag

2 drivers left in final 1 minute 30 seconds

Fernando Alonso

Meanwhile the World Motor Sport Council agreed to allow the teams and the FIA to have an extension to April 30 to finalise the 2017 technical regulations. They are particularly keen to get the manufacturers to finalise "the four key areas of supply cost, obligation to supply, performance convergence, and further improvement of noise."

However WMSC approved the 2017 bodywork regulations agreed among teams and noted that "early simulations have indicated an improvement in lap times by approximately 4-5 seconds on most circuits."

This would take the fastest lap times at Barcelona down to around 1m 17s, which is a second faster than the 2009 Brawn double diffuser car.

Now that it's a reality, are you excited about the 'elimination' style qualifying? Leave your comment below
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Series Formula 1